Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Tesla Stock Is Going Nowhere Fast Despite Elon Musk’s SEC Settlement

SEC Lawsuit Against Musk Wiped $7.3 Billion From Tesla’s Market Value Elon Musk agrees to step down as Tesla Chairman, to pay $20 million fine
Orlando Vargas | 02 October, 2018, 17:59

Shares of Tesla (TSLA) spiked Monday after the SEC settled a lawsuit accusing the company's founder and CEO Elon Musk of defrauding investors when he tweeted last month that he was considering taking the company private.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Tesla with fraud, alleging that CEO Elon Musk issued "false and misleading" statements.

Musk tweeted on August 7, 2018, that he could take Tesla private at a substantial premium price, accounting to $420 per share. Musk will remain CEO but will lose his Chairman seat as part of the settlement with SEC. Tesla has already agreed to the settlement and the company will also be required to appoint two new independent directors to its board and hire a lawyer to monitor Musk's communications, including his tweets.

Under a settlement announced over the weekend, Musk will give up his post as Tesla's chairman for at least three years.

Tesla has turned to an army of volunteers to help it meet ambitious third quarter auto production targets after a bruising few days for chief executive Elon Musk, who was forced to pay $20m in order to settle a dispute with United States regulators.

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Musk initially said the SEC's charges were "unjustified" but has now reached an agreement with the body to settle the charges. The SEC stated that his plans to make Tesla a private company have misled investors, resulting in Tesla stocks to tumble.

After falling 14 percent on Friday, the stock rose 17 percent today, leaving the closely watched price at $310.70 at the close. "By paying that size fine, it bolsters investors'" claims over stock market losses, he said. As Tesla's largest shareholder, Musk is likely to retain a seat on the board and have influence in determining his successor as chair.

And the corporate governance changes imposed by the SEC deal - a new chairman, for instance, will help the company re-position and should facilitate any further capital raisings if needed.

The settlement with the SEC won't be the end of the matter, though, as Musk is also facing a series of class action lawsuits relating to the tweets.

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